Monday, January 30, 2012

Still Life - still no job

So after that last tutorial, I decided to try and replicate it for myself. This is what I came up with. I still wanna re-render it in layers and work some compositing magic before I put it up in my portfolio. But I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. I really need to work on my rendering and mental ray settings in general. That's something that I am still pretty weak with...

On the job search front... whole lot of nothing. But I will continue to look while I continue to develop my skills and eventually something has gotta stick, right?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gettin back to Maya

So I had been doing a lot of photoshop tutorials trying to buff up my skills there, but now I need to get back to using Maya (and mudbox with this one). So I went to digital tutors and pulled up a still life texturing tutorial. Unlike all the tutorials I did before where I actually created everything from scratch, I used a lot of the pre-made project files to do this project. The bread, lemon, and flowers were all done by me though!

Despite not making a lot of the texture maps myself, I learned A LOT from this tutorial and it took me three days (and an entire night of rendering) to finish. Firstly, I have always used mudbox for sculpting and exporting normal or displacement maps. But for the bread and flower I used mudbox for painting. This really opened my eyes to a whole new (and easier) way of making texture maps. 

I also now know how to properly apply a normal or displacement map in maya's hypershade (I've been doing it wrong this whole time). On top of that almost all of these textures are placed on mental ray shaders, which I have always been hesitant to play around with. I've really learned the different setting and presets and how they can really help me take my hand made textures to the next level. Along with learning how to apply those maps, I have also learned how to layer several bump maps onto one object. That was something I didn't even know you could do (though I am not surprised you can). 

Doing this tutorial has shown me that I still have a lot to learn about the profession and the specialty that I have chosen, but it also proves that I greatly enjoy it and love learning and applying new things! I think my next project will be modeling my own still life and putting it together much like this one. That way I will have something to add to my reel that will be unlike anything else in there. I have quite a few days off of work this week, so hopefully I'll be updating soon!